The Dentist … (insert dramatic music here)
That was my status this morning. Oh my funny cousin in Switzerland – and his comments. But he’s on to something. Yes, yes I do love my dentist.
This has not always been the case. For years and years I have had a deep and morbid fear of ‘The Dentist’.
I’ve shared the story before of how I broke my two front teeth in High School I’ll tell it again. (That’s what I do, I’m getting old. I repeat stories now.)
Those were the dental wonder years – my perfect, straight teeth. *sigh*
My dentist, who I never feared visiting back then, was even going to take a cast of my teeth to take to schools as a model. You remember those models? They’d whip a set of choppers out of their box of tricks and show you how to brush properly on them.
Oooo! Remember the chewable tablets that turned your teeth pink to show you how much plaque you missed when you brushed? Those were fun too.
Anyway, (tangent queen is in the house), I had PERFECT teeth. Never needed braces. Never had a cavity. Gold star for me.
Then came my Junior year.
That’s me on the right. Oh how I loved cheerleading. I’d make up routines at home, even messed around with a baton (which we didn’t use in cheerleading, but I had spirit! Anything spirit related, I was honing in those skills.)
One weeknight, I was on my bed, chatting with my brother Jamie, twirling a baton whilst on my back. I threw it up in the air and …. SMACK!
My perfect teeth were no longer perfect.
The semi-circle of ‘nothingness’ where ‘somethingness’ used to be on my two front teeth was pretty perfect though.
Off to the dentist.
Bonding was pretty new back then. (Gawd I’m old.) I think he was pretty excited about using this ‘new technique’. After what felt like hours of application and blue lights – my smile was back.
Went downhill from there – in my 20’s … my first cavity.
I won’t bore you with the progression of dental dilemmas, (you’re welcome) but let’s just say, that after a dentist told me “you can’t possibly FEEL that” as I writhed in pain in a chair, I wasn’t hell-bent on returning anytime soon.
So I didn’t. I put such appointments off until I couldn’t bear it anymore.
Then later it became a money issue. With no dental insurance, you’d better have just inherited some money to get work done.
Then it became a ‘I’ve waited too long and now it will only be worse and I am scared to hear what he’s going to say’ issue.
They call those teeth out you know! While frowning. And the assistant is jotting the numbers down and cutting her eyes at you from under her disappointed lashes.
It’s like hearing a list of crimes you’ve committed! “B4, G13, O22” … oh, wait, no, that’s Bingo.
But you get the picture.
And all the while, you’re gripping the arms of a chair like this:
And all you can think of, other than “that’s a long list, I might have to sell a limb or an organ to afford it”, is this:
I got brave. I was tired of not smiling. I had a lot to smile about. I LOVE life. And dammit, I was going to smile.
My first visit, found me covered in sweat (it was not hot out) and flinching at the innocuous bib they put around my neck.
I found muscles I didn’t know I had as I tensed up into a perfect impression of a plank of wood. Not easy to do in those chairs. But I accomplished it.
Keep in mind, this first visit was just a xray and assessment. Didn’t seem to stop me from grasping the assistants hand though. I love her. ❤
Long story short – $1,975 later and with only two small procedures to go, I am a PRO at the dentist.
The assistant took my hand in hers today and I didn’t even need to squeeze it.
I lay there, not caring about the needle – after chatting with everybody in the office and breathed slowly. Relaxed. Gazing out of the window at the clever little garden they have outside.
I occasionally blinked at the water they rinsed me with when it got in my eye … ok, I did almost drown once, she wasn’t quick enough with the suction, but I managed to swallow before I died.
Afterward, the dentist smiled when I showed him my list. I’ve been crossing off each completed procedure. I felt like a kid showing her parent a picture I’d made at school. “Put it on the fridge!”
Only two small procedures to go! Then it’s into the hygienists chair for a cleaning.
Oh gawd … Wait … I remember them!!! They poke, and floss too hard!
But, I will be brave.
And I will remember … when it comes to car problems, relationship problems or teeth problems, deal with them immediately! The longer you put it off, the worse they’re going to get.